Friday, December 27, 2013

The Voice Singer Opens Horizons

Stephanie Anne Johnson, will open the Chamber’s Horizons economic forecast event.

Fresh off this season of The Voice, this Voice Top 20 award-winning indie blues singer/songwriter was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington.

Her soulful sound combines elements of blues, folk and rock, and she is constantly refining her favorite instrument, her voice.

Guided by a killer musical instinct, her rich, melodic soundscapes surround her audience and inspire her listeners into a depth of emotional possibility.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chamber Pres/CEO Attends White House Business Forum

Last week Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson was invited by the White House Business Council to a briefing in Washington, D.C.

Pierson, along with Propel Insurance President & CEO Kurt Carlson, attended the White House meeting where they heard reports from senior officials on business initiatives and information.

“What stood out to me was hearing about opportunities for discussion on the needs of our respective business communities. With the efforts the Chamber is making here locally for our economy and our businesses, we want to make sure our voice is heard all the way in our nation’s capitol with our participation in these discussions,” said Pierson.

“Senator Patty Murray took time to meet with Kurt and I while we were in D.C. We appreciated the chance to discuss business priorities and concerns and thanked her for her negotiations on the national budget,” Pierson continued.

In order to engage the private sector, The White House Business Council brought together regional business leaders for substantive briefings and policy discussions at the White House since the first week of December. Large and small business owners from across the country have been meeting in groups with Senior Officials to discuss Administration efforts to speed up economic growth and encourage hiring, the economic benefits of commonsense immigration reform, an aggressive trade agenda, and the importance of working with employers to address long-term unemployment.

About the Business Forward initiative:  The White House Business Council is partnering with Business Forward to co-host a series of conversations at the White House for business and civic leaders from across the country about jobs and the economy.  These meetings will include briefings from senior officials on Administration policy and priorities, but will focus on engaging local leaders in a conversation about the needs and opportunities in their communities.

Pictured (insert) is the agenda for the briefing Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson and Propel Insurance President & CEO Kurt Carlson attended on December 19.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Port Transportation & Land Use at January M-I-M

Manufacturing – Industries – Maritime (M-I-M) Meeting

January 17, 2014
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
La Quinta Inn & Suites

Featuring: Port of Tacoma’s Land Use & Transportation Plans

Kell McAboy
Port of Tacoma

Ian Munce
City of Tacoma

Two major planning documents are underway, having completed their draft phases, requiring complementary and collaborative efforts by the Port of Tacoma and the City of Tacoma. These land use and transportation plans identify policies and action strategies to support capital improvements, attract private investments and encourage economic growth.

The Port of Tacoma is preparing a land use and transportation plan that will identify policies and recommendations to support capital improvements, attract private investments and encourage economic growth.

The land use and transportation plan will build on the goals and initiatives in its Strategic Plan by providing information, policies and recommendations to support capital improvements, attract private investments and encourage economic growth.
The plan will be a policy-based document that identifies and prioritizes actions needed to achieve the Port's goals. It will act as a form of communication for decision makers and be designed to guide development over a 10 to 20 year planning horizon.

The area of focus for the plan is the Port of Tacoma Manufacturing Industrial Center (MIC) as designated by the Puget Sound Regional Council. Here is the link to the DRAFT Plan.

The City of Tacoma enjoys the economic contributions of the Port of Tacoma.

In order to protect the unique and critical infrastructure and industrial node of our state’s intermodal ports, in 2009, the Washington State Legislature amended the Growth Management Act (GMA) to include a requirement for a Container Port Element (CPE) in the GMA Comprehensive Plan for cities that contain a marine container port with annual operating revenues in excess of $60 million.

The legislative intent is “… to ensure that local land use decisions are made in consideration of the long-term and widespread economic contribution of our international container ports and related industrial lands and transportation systems and to ensure that container ports continue to function effectively alongside vibrant city waterfronts.” RCW 36.70A.085

Accordingly, the City of Tacoma, in collaboration with the Port of Tacoma, has prepared a Container Port Element for public review. Consistent with state requirements, the element provides policy guidance to achieve the following:

•         Protection of core areas of container port and port-related industrial areas within the City

•         Efficient access to the core area through freight corridors within the city limits

•         Protection against potential land use conflicts along the edge of the core area

•         Identification of key transportation corridor improvements.

The text of the Proposed CPE, together with background information, can be found on the City Website. To access the webpage for the CPE visit the Planning Services Division’s homepage  and click on “Container Port Element”, or go directly here.

Join us and share mutual interests, discover upcoming legislative issues, increase business opportunities and build relationships with our M-I-M group.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WA Governor Heads Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee

Former Gov. Christine Gregoire, has been reappointed and designated as Chair, Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), also representing State/Local Government.

The Ex-Im Bank will hold the first meeting of its Fiscal Year on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at Ex-Im Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.Now in its 31st year, the Congressionally-established Advisory Committee advises Ex-Im Bank on its policies and programs, in particular on the extent to which the Bank provides competitive financing to support American jobs through exports.

The Board of Directors appointed 16 members to the Bank's Advisory Committee for 2014. This year's Committee has seven new members and nine returning members. Returning member Christine Gregoire will chair the Committee.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg said, "their (2014 Advisory Committee) experience and diverse perspectives will be vital as we work together to find new ways to increase U.S. exports and create U.S. jobs through exports."

The Committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, December 18th at 9:30 A.M. in Room 327 of the Bank. The meeting is open to the public.

The Ex-Im Bank Board of Directors appointed the Advisory Committee after an open nomination process that considered the candidates' business experiences and qualifications, and created a balance in perspectives. The Advisory Committee represents an array of business sectors and stakeholder groups, including small business, manufacturing, labor, services, finance and environmental organizations.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chamber Supports Three Local School District Levies

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Board of Directors has endorsed the upcoming school levy ballot issues of three local districts.

Bethel, Franklin Pierce and Tacoma School Districts each have two propositions, (one for operations and one for technology improvements) referred to voters for approval on the February 11, 2014 election.  All but one of these levies is a replacement for expiring or cancelled levies already adopted by voters. 

The one new levy is Bethel School District’s Prop. 2, for technology.  Jennifer Bethman, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, told the Chamber’s Board that Bethel School District has a great deal of catching up to do to provide modern technology equipment and instruction for its students.

"When we vote for the coming school levies, we agree that our children need the educational resources necessary to form their abilities to responsibly think, solve and create within the constant flux of our living and working world,” said Jeff Brown, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Chair.

Brian Haynes, the Chamber’s Immediate-Past Chair and Co-Chair for YES on Props. 1 and 2, Tacoma Citizens for Schools, said, “Props. 1 and 2 are about providing all kids with the quality and up-to-date education they deserve. They need the ever-more challenging technology skills increasingly demanded in jobs.”

The Chamber’s Board noted that the State Legislature has begun to assume its paramount duty to amply fund the education of all K-12 students.  The State Supreme Court has set a compliance date of 2018.  All these proposed levies will expire in 2018.

Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 Leg Agenda Unveiled

With the second half of the legislative biennium set to begin just past the holidays, the Chamber’s 2014 Legislative Agenda was unveiled earlier this week.

Chamber members, Government Affairs Committee members and Advocacy Sponsors invited legislators from Pierce County to the Unveiling event, preceding the Chamber’s annual Public Officials Holiday Reception.

Pictured: Sen. Steve Conway, 29th District, reviews the 2014 Legislative Agenda.

The Chamber’s 2014 Legislative Agenda, as a continuation of the 2013-2014 legislative biennium, was refined by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee after input from a Chamber members survey.

Remaining at the top of the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda is completion of SR 167.  Although opportunities may realize the adoption of a state-wide transportation package, including funding for completion of 167, before the 2014 short legislative session begins, the Chamber is poised to continue its advocacy for completion of 167 into the new year.

Other notable refinements in the 2014 Legislative Agenda include parity of policies for electric and natural gas fuel in transportation, the JBLM/I-5 Corridor and an East Pierce-SR 162/410 corridor study. 

Another emphasis area, Workforce Development, received refinements, principally with legislative advocacy for transitioning veterans to realize their opportunities in the civilian economy.

The Chamber maintains its advocacy for the creation and retention of private sector jobs and the success of local businesses.  You may review the entire 2014 Legislative Agenda here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tacoma Council to Appoint Interim Councilmember

The City of Tacoma’s Council has decided to appoint an interim to fill the council position unoccupied with the Leave of Absence of Councilmember Anders Ibsen.

Councilmember Ibsen has requested Leave, according to the provisions of state law, for his volunteer service with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Map of District 1.

The appointed interim councilmember would serve during the approximately 11 months of Councilmember Ibsen’s Leave of Absence, although the actual term is indeterminate as Councilmember Ibsen could return earlier.  There will be approximately one year from the anticipated end of the interim position, after Councilmember Ibsen returns from his Leave of Absence, until the Councilmember would stand re-election in 2015.


For advice on applying, candidates may contact Mike Weinman, Weinman Consulting, Federal and Local Issues Manager for the Chamber.

Qualifications for Office and Responsibilities of the City Council
The City Charter provides that citizens seeking to run for City Council must be qualified electors and City residents for two years immediately preceding the time of filing. In addition, if a citizen
is running for a district position, he or she must be a resident in this District 1 for one year immediately preceding the time of filing.

The Council is responsible for enacting all legislation, developing policies, and making general policy decisions for governing the City. Council duties include adopting and amending City laws; approving the budget; establishing City policies and standards; approving contracts and agreements; and representing the City. The Council meets every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, first floor, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street. Five Council Members constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Compensation Council Members:
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Council Members will receive an annual salary of $42,411.20.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Use Your Network to Refer a Student to YEA!

The Chamber is proud to offer a unique program in entrepreneurial education for high school students. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), now entering its 1st year in Tacoma and its tenth  year nationwide, is an intensive six-month program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses and social movements.

Students are guided through each step of starting an enterprise, from brainstorming the idea to pitching their business plan to investors. Classroom learning is anchored by real-world applications, such as submitting DBAs to the County Clerk’s Office, opening bank accounts, filing tax returns, and earning real profits at a trade show.
Business leaders have insights on students who are passionate about business and would excel in the YEA! program. Please consider encouraging creative, motivated students to apply. Qualified students are those who have a strong work ethic and demonstrate high levels of effort on a consistent basis. Although prior experience in business is not required, students should have a strong interest in business and/or starting their own company or social movement. We encourage you to share information about the Academy with any student that you know that might be interested.
You may also have friends, colleagues and staff that might know students who would be interested in applying. Please feel free to share the information with those individuals as well.
The deadline for returning the completed YEA! application and scholarship application is Thursday, December 5, 2013. The Academy will notify the students who are accepted into the Class of 2014 by Tuesday, December 24.
Please note, scholarships are available and are selected based on the student’s application, letter of recommendation, student written statement, personal interview, and financial need.
For questions about student eligibility or the student selection procedures, contact the Chamber’s office at 253.682.1726 or Thank you for your support.